Kalkaska (6-3) at Gladwin (7-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
This is the first time these two programs have ever met on the football field. The Flying G’s won their last four regular-season games to earn a first-round home date. A narrow 13-12 Week Nine loss to Elk Rapids cost the Blazers a shot at a home contest, but Kalkaska has won four of its last six and are 3-0 against non-Lake Michigan Conference foes this year.
Inland Lakes (6-3) at Negaunee (8-1), Saturday, 1 p.m.
The Ski Valley North runner-up Bulldogs are seeking their first playoff victory since an 18-13 win over Hillman in 1995. Inland Lakes has held opponents to single digits three times this season and are facing a Negaunee team that has accomplished that feat five times this season and won a postseason game in four of the last five seasons. It’s the first meeting between the two programs.
Mancelona (7-2) at Ishpeming (9-0), Saturday, 1 p.m.
The Hematites have only had one close game all season — and that was a 28-24 win over 8-1 Negaunee, which was also the only time Ishpeming has surrendered more than 13 points this season. These teams have tangled twice before in the playoffs, with the Hematites claiming both convincingly, winning 32-0 in 2012 and 38-6 in 2010. But after starting the season 0-2, Mancelona has rebounded to reel off seven consecutive victories, including three over playoff teams (Johannesburg-Lewiston, Pickford and Inland Lakes).
McBain (5-4) at Lincoln-Alcona (9-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
In six of nine times since 2000 that the Ramblers made the playoffs, they won a postseason game. They’ll have a tough task today against the district’s top seed and undefeated Lincoln-Alcona. McBain started out 4-1, but lost three of its last four. Only Whittemore-Prescott has scored more than 14 points against the Tigers this season. Their schedule included only three teams with winning records 6-3 Whittemore-Prescott, 5-4 Atlanta and 7-2 Mio, but Alcona routed Mio 50-12 and Atlanta 51-0.